Blaine Chappell, trainer at Century Downs, is currently working his way up in the industry. His current statistics are 30-7-4-2 with a UTRS of .330. He had just recently received his Trainer’s License in December 2016.
To receive a Trainer’s License, one must hold a valid Groom’s License for two years before being able to apply. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. To become a valid trainer here in Alberta, you not only need to hold a Groom’s License, you also need to pass a written test, and receive two recommendations from other valid Trainers.
“For a Trainer’s License you [have] to hold a Groom’s License for two years,” said Chappell. “Then you have to get trainers to fill out a recommendation letter to say ‘hey, this guy knows what he’s doing,’ then you do the test and hopefully you pass.”
Chappell has worked diligently to learn more about the industry, and has worked with some of the best. “I’ve worked for Rod Starkewski, Rod Hennessy, Travis Tracey and I’ve worked for my father for a lot of years,” said Chappell. “I’ve learned a lot. You know, you never learn too much in this business. Every day is a learning process.”
While Chappell is young, he has been working in the industry since he was born. “I’ve been in the barn since I could walk, and I love it,” said Chappell. “I graduated high school, and went right into [the industry].
Currently, Chappell is working with five horses and is stabled in Olds, Alberta. On Sunday, June 18th, Chappell had three horses racing: CARDINAL RULE, COIN VAULT and GABLE BLUE CHIP.
He had Mike Hennessy, Tyler Redwood and William Tainsh JR driving his horses this day.
Mike Hennessy took the reins with CARNDINAL RULE in the first race of the day. He stayed in last place until the last half of the race, took the last corner wide and finished a comfortable third, behind STEADYBREEZE (Hoerdt), and WRANGLER CAT (Marino).
Tyler Redwood took charge of COIN VAULT in the second race. He aggressively took the lead and went wide. It was an even battle between POCKET NOVEL (Giesbrecht), KARATE KING (Gray) and COIN VAULT (Redwood). In the last moment, KARATE KING (Gray) took the win, leaving COIN VAULT in second place.
William Tainsh JR battled with GABLE BLUE CHIP in the seventh race, but couldn’t get ahead of the pack. BLISSFUL ANGEL (Grundy) took the win.
In the future, Chappell hopes to drive his own horses. “I’m going to try to get my license,” said Chappell. “[I want to] have a little fun, [and] go fast.”
JOE RATCHFORD TAKES THE WIN IN THE OLD TIME PACE
Joe Ratchford took home the gold in the Old Time Pace on Sunday, June 18th. Fans were going wild as five old-timers got back in the bike and raced around the track after the 10th race.
Ratchford has not been in the bike for over 20 years. “It was fun,” said Ratchford. “It’s been over 20 years since I’ve been on the bike, but once you get behind it, it’s no big difference. It’s just like riding a bike!”
Ratchford went against the other legends of the track: Fred Gillis, Pat Tracey, Daryl Litke and John Baxter.
“It was nice that all of us guys could get together again and have a good time,” said Ratchford. “Nobody got hurt, which is the biggest thing, you know, you get a bit older, you don’t want [any] accidents.”
Ratchford was very humble after his win, as it was a race just for fun - no stakes involved. “[It felt] just like it always did,” said Ratchford. “I was never a competitive driver.”